Aussie 'Angel Of London Bridge' Gets Posthumous Award
A woman who died while trying to help victims of the 2017 London Bridge terror attack is among four Australian winners of a prestigious nursing medal.
Kirsty Boden was in the vicinity of London Bridge in June 2017, when three terrorists drove a van into pedestrians, then stabbed many passers-by. The Australian nurse ran to assist those hurt, but herself became a victim as she tried to help. She was stabbed and killed near Southwark Cathedral.
She was dubbed "the angel of London Bridge" by British media for her efforts, and was awarded a Queen's Commendation for Bravery in 2018.
On Monday, the international Red Cross announced the recipients of its Florence Nightingale Medals -- described as "the highest international distinction a nurse can receive" -- with four Australians, including Boden, among those honoured.
“The Florence Nightingale Medals awarded to three of our Red Cross aid workers – Denise Moyle, Yvonne Ginifer and Cristina de Leon - honour exceptional courage and dedication to the victims of armed conflict or natural disaster,” said Peter Walton, Director, International at Australian Red Cross.
“This medal recognises exemplary service or a creative and pioneering spirit in the areas of public health or nursing education."
Melbourne nurse Denise Moyle was involved in aid efforts in Sudan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, working with surgical teams responding to war, earthquake and refugee efforts.
"The opportunities I've had with Australian Red Cross, the fabulous mentors along the way and the privilege of assisting some of the world’s most brave and humbling people in their times of desperate need has truly shaped me," she said in a statement.
Yvonne Ginifer, from Mildura, was part of Red Cross efforts responding to ebola in Liberia, as well as participating in disaster relief in Myanmar, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Sudan.
“I have worked with many exceptional nurses who undertake humanitarian work in critical and difficult situations. They are equally and more deserving of this recognition of their work,” she said on being named one of the medal recipients.
Sydney nurse Cristina de Leon has worked for many years in Afghanistan, Somalia, and Myanmar.
“I see this award as a recognition for the hard work and dedication performed by the Red Cross family, delivering health care to people affected by conflict," she said.
Boden, whose memory has also been honoured in a South Australian government-sponsored scholarship for nursing students at Flinders University, was praised for her bravery and selflessness.
“From Sudan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen, they have helped children survive horrific injuries in wars and earthquakes, cared for patients suffering with Ebola and cholera, saving countless lives with education on hygiene and disease prevention," Walton said of the Australian recipients.
"They’re colleagues or mentors to local health workers, often working under the most difficult and dangerous conditions."
After her death, Boden's partner James Hodder said she had made her family and friends proud.
"The way in which she passed away exemplifies who she was as a person, which makes it incredibly hard for all of us," he said.
"We are all massively, massively proud of her and we always will be proud of her."